Mentoring Undergraduate Women to Diversify Wikipedia: An Evolving OER Opportunity




Stvan, Laurel

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Wikipedia is an amazing crowd-sourced OER resource, but research has repeatedly shown that it needs tweaking to include more diverse voices. In both its topics and its contributors, many perspectives are left out: women, people of color, younger generations, the LGTBQ community, and folks with disabilities. It’s a familiar refrain. Fortunately, several organizations are working to remedy this. Taking just the under-representation of women as an example, I lay out where efforts already exist, where they overlap, and where there is more to be done through student contributions to open educational practices to better enable marginalized students to succeed.

This talk highlights the intersection of existing work on improving the number of women as Wikipedia subjects (Women in Red); increasing the representation of women in specific fields; training students as new editors (WikiEdu); and creating a network for mentors of undergraduate women as editors. The latter aims to streamline the coordination of existing resources when editing training is an add-on task for full-time instructors. I discuss how instructors can better succeed at these projects without burning out by deploying existing networks and tailoring them to our students, leading to procedures for openly sharing successful teaching practices. These can assist in generating more varied Wikipedia content that incorporates more diverse, enthusiastic voices. Two long-term goals are balancing the alignment of on-wiki and off-wiki discussions to ensure that editor consensus is maintained and building the pipeline of young female editors through a network of instructors who work with them.